Drowning victim gave his life for others

Letters to the Editor

I enjoy reading Don McAlavy’s historical articles in the Wednesday papers.
I would like to make a comment and correction in the story about the drowning of Aric Arnold, who died, June 8, 1988, at Greene Acres Lake in Clovis.
McAlavy stated that the two girls were trying to save Aric from the water.
The truth is the two girls were struggling in the water first. Aric went into the water purposely to save them, and ended farther out into the channel.
For the past 16 years, as I drive by the scene of his drowning at Greene Acres Lake, I roll that scene over and over in my mind. I had seen them in the water that day, as I was driving by, and stopped in panic to see what I could do. I got into the water where the girls were, and by the time we got back onto the shore, Aric was gone, deep down into that filthy, muddy channel.
When the divers came, it took them at least an hour to find him in the water, as McAlavy stated.
When I look at his picture from the funeral flier, the only way I can see any sense or daylight in it is in knowing that Aric gave up his life in attempting to save his beloved sister and cousin. He voluntarily went into that dark, murky water, knowing he couldn’t swim.
The hospital workers tried desperately to bring him back to life, but it was too late.
Aric had been a wonderful student at Cameo Elementary, and his parents were loving, active volunteers in the school. It was a difficult loss for all.
In my mind, I see Aric Arnold as a heroic giant. I still feel desperation and regret in his drowning, wishing that somehow I could have made the difference for him.
Knowing that he gave up his life for the love of his family makes the loss just a little more understandable.
I just wanted to make sure the community knows the true story about Aric’s actions, and that tragic day.
— Mary (Fechter) Finifrock de Perez

DA office’s had no right to refuse case
This is in reference to Kay Arvizu’s letter in the March 28 paper, complaining that no one would take her complaint against a thieving tenant.
She is right. The tenant’s taking of the washer and dryer and air conditioner was larceny, which is included in the broader word theft. Black’s Law Dictionary defines larceny: “Larceny is fraudulent taking as carrying away of a thing without claim of right, with intention of converting it to a use other than that of the owner, without his consent.”
Brett Carter’s district attorney office has no legal right to refuse to prosecute crime.
The remedy for an official who refuses to do his duty is a suit for a writ of mandamus, i.e. and order from a higher authority to a lower authority to do something. Also, there is the Civil Rights Act. I think Arvizu has a civil right for Carter to take her complaint and prosecute it diligently.
Officials who will not voluntarily do their duty are welcome to a civil rights attorney.
— Richard M. Snell
Clovis retired attorney